An attitude of gratitude

“Gratitude is a constant attitude of thankfulness and appreciation for life as it unfolds. Living in the moment, we are open to the abundance around us and within us. We express appreciation freely. We contemplate the richness of our life. In life’s trials, we seek to understand, to accept, to learn. Gratitude is a continual celebration of life.” — Author unknown

As people gather to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, we urge one and all to take a few minutes to reflect on those things for which we are truly thankful.

In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with negative messages — what this person did wrong, what that person needs to do better, why we are getting a raw deal in this or that situation. And when one takes in those kinds of messages day after day, it can rob us of all joy, of any sense of contentment.

So we challenge you on this Thanksgiving Day to let go of all that. Focus, instead, on what is right about this world, this country, our beautiful state of Oregon, the cities we live in, our neighbors. There is good in everything, and truth be told, we really don’t have to look all that hard to find it.

The secret is to take our eyes off of ourselves and focus them on others. Think about what you can give, instead of what you can get. That, too, can make all of the difference.

Sure, there are still problems out there, but if we really want to come together as a people, we need to start thinking more about what unites us, instead of what divides us. We need to be more about expressing gratitude, instead of criticizing others.

Steve Goodier, author of “One Minute Can Change a Life,” put it this way: “The more we express thanks, the more gratitude we feel. The more gratitude we feel, the more we express thanks. It’s circular, and it leads to a happier life.”

That attitude of gratitude really can become a habit, if we chose to lead our lives that way, and we will reap the rewards. Author William Arthur Ward said, “Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

So for at least a few minutes this Thanksgiving, put down that phone, shut off that television, tune out all other distractions, and find something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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